political appointee

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Graham: I'll Bar Appointees Until I Get Benghazi Testimony

Senator thinks White House told survivors to keep mouth shut

(Newser) - He's not shutting down the government, but Lindsey Graham plans to use another procedural method to get the administration to open up on Benghazi. The GOP senator tweets that he'll block "every appointment in the US Senate" until the survivors of the Libya attack "are made... More »

American Diplomacy in Sad Shape

Essay: Foreign Service needs more professional diplomats, not political appointees

(Newser) - Even as diplomacy has grown ever more important to US national security, the US Foreign Service is being threatened by partisan politics worse than ever before, write longtime diplomats Susan Johnson, Ronald Neumann, and Thomas Pickering in the Washington Post . Exhibit A: Top leadership positions in the State Department have... More »

GOP Slams Obama Nominee ... Over Old Flame?

Mari Carmen Aponte's ex had possible Cuban ties

(Newser) - Senate Republicans have already gone too far in opposing President Obama's appointees, argues Gail Collins in the New York Times —but blocking someone over a boyfriend she had 20 years ago? Yes, Senate Republicans want to stop Mari Carmen Aponte from becoming ambassador to El Salvador because of... More »

Scientists Revolt in Perry Climate Change Clash

Authors of Texas report want their names deleted

(Newser) - Officials appointed by Rick Perry have sparked a new firestorm in Texas over climate change science, the Guardian reports. Every scientist behind a recent 200-page environmental report is demanding to have his name stricken from the document after state officials deleted references to climate change. "This is simply antithetical... More »

Right's New Quarry: Gay Ed. Appointee

Fox et al. say Kevin Jennings didn't act on 1980s statutory rape

(Newser) - One of President Obama’s appointees to the Department of Education has become the latest target for conservatives emboldened by the departures of green-jobs adviser Van Jones and others. Assistant deputy secretary Kevin Jennings is accused of neglecting to report a statutory rape case when he was a teacher in... More »

Most Obama Posts Still Not Filled

(Newser) - President Obama is still missing more than half his team after 7 months in the Oval Office, the New York Times reports. Facing a grueling confirmation process for appointees, the president has filled only 43% of more than 500 top policymaking positions that require Senate approval. Planning to reform financial... More »

Ambassadors: Rich People in Useless Jobs

If posts are just plums for political donors, why have them?

(Newser) - Barack Obama opted for politics as usual in his ambassador appointments yesterday, writes David Rothkopf for ForeignPolicy. Like recent predecessors, Obama turned to deep-pocketed campaign donors; hence Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, will deal with a tech lawyer whose sole qualification seems to have been his ability to raise... More »

Cuomo's in the Running for Clinton Seat, Paterson Says

Admission is first that AG is even a candidate

(Newser) - Continuing his elusive dance around Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, New York Gov. David Paterson said yesterday that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo “is someone I’m considering,” the Buffalo News reports. Paterson also seemed unafraid of a possible Cuomo challenge in 2010 if he isn’t seated... More »

Paterson 'Certain' to Pick Kennedy: Also-Rans

NY governor playing 'mind games' with media in delaying announcement

(Newser) - Her rivals for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat believe Caroline Kennedy is “certain” to succeed her, sources close to several contenders tell the New York Post. Gov. David Paterson thinks dissing Kennedy at this point would “greatly embarrass” and “entirely humiliate” her and her family—and potentially... More »

Purge of 'Crazy Libs' by Bush Civil Rights Boss Broke Law

'Commies' pushed out for 'real Americans'

(Newser) - A Bush appointee who headed the Justice Department's civil rights division blatantly violated federal anti-bias laws in his hiring policies and then lied about it to Congress, according to government authorities. An internal report quotes emails from Bradley Schlozman, who ran the department from 2003 to 2006, in which he... More »

Kennedy: 9/11, Obama Inspired Me to Seek Senate Seat

Campaign work pushed hopeful towards politics

(Newser) - The terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and her work for Barack Obama's campaign helped push Caroline Kennedy towards a career in politics, the Senate hopeful tells the AP. Kennedy credited her mother with giving her the courage to seek the job, and said she hopes she will be able... More »

I'll Have to Work Twice as Hard If Appointed: Kennedy

JFK daughter admits she'd be 'unconventional choice' for Senate seat

(Newser) - Caroline Kennedy understands she will have to work to gain the respect of the public and her peers if she is appointed to the US Senate. "I came into this thinking I have to work twice as hard as anybody else," Kennedy told the AP. "I am... More »

Bush Pentagon Team Asked to Stay On

Gates keeps appointees on board until they are replaced

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates has taken the unusual step of inviting most of President Bush's political appointees to remain at the Pentagon until they are replaced, the Washington Times reports. An undisclosed number will be dismissed, but Gates, keen to avoid a "leadership vacuum" with two wars on, wants... More »

White House Scrambles to Find Operatives Permanent Jobs

Bush appointees 'burrow' in at agencies

(Newser) - The Bush administration is racing to put its political appointees into permanent civil service jobs before the clock runs out, reports the Washington Post. Federal job protection rules will make it tough for the new administration to dislodge the Bush operatives once they are in, meaning that they may keep... More »

Diplomats See Risk in Handing Posts to Obama Pals

Friends, big donors often get cushy ambassadorships, to chagrin of lifers

(Newser) - Could Barack Obama make Oprah Winfrey an ambassador? It’s an all-too-plausible scenario, the Chicago Tribune reports, assuming Winfrey was willing to leave her TV career. Presidents typically give out roughly a third of the 200 ambassadorships to friends and political allies, and, in a first, the American Academy of... More »

Bush Appointees: We're Not Going Anywhere

(Newser) - When President Bush leaves Washington in January, many of his appointees won't be going with him, Daniel Schulman writes in Mother Jones. Administration workers are "burrowing in," arranging to trade their political positions for cushy career jobs, even though many were unqualified when hired. They ensure that the... More »

Palin's 'Reforms' Include State Jobs for Donors

Governor's appointees include loyalists with iffy qualifications

(Newser) - Sarah Palin has touted herself as a reformer, telling voters she "took on the old politics as usual in Juneau." But an LA Times investigation shows the Alaska governor gave more than 100 state jobs to campaign contributors and their relatives, many of whom lacked qualifications for... More »

In Politicizing Justice, 'Appalling' Betrayal

By injecting politics into hiring, Gonzales & Co. shatter public's faith

(Newser) - New confirmation that the Justice Department used political criteria in hiring for career positions shouldn’t just outrage the maybe-liberals they discriminated against, derailing careers because they were gay, say, or had a wife who was a Democrat, a former Clinton administration official writes in the Washington Post. It’s... More »

Justice Dept. Hiring Practices Illegal: Report

Gonzales aides judged high-level applicants by their politics

(Newser) - Alberto Gonzales’ Justice Department illegally discriminated against applicants for career positions based on political considerations, a new report by the department's inspector general finds. Gonzales’ White House liaison Monica Goodling routinely violated civil service laws by asking "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to... More »

NASA Was Muzzled on Climate Change

Bush appointees in press office withheld information, probe finds

(Newser) - Political appointees at NASA withheld scientific results on global warming, NASA's inspector general has determined after an internal probe. Investigators found that the public affairs office, run by Bush appointees, suffered from political spinning that was "inconsistent" with the agency's responsibility to pass full information on to the public,... More »

20 Stories